TAMPA, Fla. -- It’s pretty obvious Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith has been talking to his team about the importance of winning at home.
Without any particular prompting from the media, three different team leaders said one of this season’s goals is to go undefeated at Raymond James Stadium.
"Something that Lovie is preaching is that we want to win the home games," quarterback Josh McCown said. "You’ve got to win the home games and have a home-field advantage. The fans are important to us, getting them behind us and with us. We know part of that is winning early and giving them somebody they can get behind so that we can build and we can make Raymond James a tough place to play."
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said the fact the season starts Sunday against NFC South rival Carolina isn’t the only motivation for the Bucs.
"Another motivation is we’re at home," McCoy said. "We want to go undefeated at home. It’s going to take our fans. We really, really need a home-field advantage this year because we have a really talented team. Our fans coming out and helping us, we need that."
Although attendance hasn’t been great in recent years, middle linebacker Mason Foster said he’s always felt a home-field advantage and believes it can be even stronger this year.
"We know how loud that stadium can get and how much the noise and energy from that crowd can help you win close games," Foster said. "We need the fans to bring it and they always have. We need to make it a real home-field advantage."